Daniel Onjeh, the All Progressives Congress' (APC) senatorial candidate for Benue South, has disapproved of the outcomes of the National Assembly elections that took place on Saturday.
Onjeh claimed that the election results were rigged in a statement that was released and provided to our reporter on Wednesday.
Abba Morro, a candidate for the Peoples Democratic Party, was named the election's victor by the Independent National Electoral Commission, or INEC.
Onjeh, who had earlier stated that he was reviewing the results to determine his next move, asserted that he had won the election despite claims that the Bi-modal Voter Accreditation System (B-VAS) had been rigged.
He vowed to file a petition with the Elections Petitions Tribunal to challenge the election's procedure.
"I wish to condemn and reject in its entirety the outcome of the Saturday, February 25, 2023 senatorial election in Benue South, in which I was the APC candidate, due to non-compliance with the existing laws allegedly guiding the electoral process, amid the many irregularities that characterized the collation and declaration of the results," the statement says in part.
“From every indication, it was very clear to me that I actually won the election, but the clandestine manipulations of one of my opponents and fifth columnists within my party, in collusion with some pliable INEC officials, ensured that the results were upturned in favor of Sen. Abba Moro of the PDP, who was eventually declared the winner.
“With the signing into law of the Electoral Act 2022 by President Muhammadu Buhari, and the subsequent introduction of the Bi-modal Voter Accreditation System (B-VAS) by INEC, a fresh hope was rekindled in the Nigerian electorate that the era of vote manipulations and other electoral malpractices was gone, but little did we know that our detractors and enemies of democracy have devised and perfected new strategies for rigging elections.
“For instance, we noticed that while INEC maintained the total number of accredited voters per polling unit in Benue South, they actually swapped the votes, thereby allocating the higher number of votes that I garnered in some polling units to their preferred highest bidder and the lower votes to me."
“I wish to declare that I am challenging the results of the Saturday, February 25th, senatorial election in Benue South at the Elections Petitions Tribunal.
“I am therefore putting INEC on notice in order for the Commission to avail us of the Certified True Copy (CTC) of all relevant documents and the original record of the B-VAS for the Benue South polls before they reconfigure the machines for the upcoming gubernatorial elections."